- Published on Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:45
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A more vibrant and determined Abia Warriors forced Shooting Stars Sports Club to a scoreless draw in Ibadan as the draw-at-home spell of the Oluyole Warriors continued in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday.
Score draws against MFM FC, Remo Stars and Plateau United compelled the Shooting Stars faithful to hold a prayer session on the turf of Lekan Salami Stadium on Sunday morning, but the boys failed to show coordination and creativity on the field few hours later.
Abdullahi Biffo’s Warriors started the game in 8th position on the log, with 18 points from 13 matches, while the Oluyole Warriors languished in 18th place with a dozen points from as many games.
The home crowd expected their Trojans to go all out, but there was not much team-work or even innovation. Top striker Sunday Faleye was off colour on the evening, and Kolawole Olaniran, Abayomi Adebayo and Jide Apena merely huffed and puffed.
The visitors were always going to threaten the Stars having plucked their star forward Sunday Adetunji earlier in the season. Adetunji constituted headache for Stars’ captain Seun Akinyemi, Opeyemi Adetoye and Ibrahim Babalola all evening.
Scoring opportunities were few and far between, as the Warriors defended with resolution and the home team were too jittery to fashion a good plan to break down their guard.
Chinedu Efugh, Henry Ochuba and Emma Ogbuagu kept things tight at the rear, and Adetunji got good support from Anthony Okemmiri to trouble the homers whenever the white-and-red shirts got away.
In the second half, the introduction of Ayobami Junior, Merenini Junior and Wasiu Rafiu brought some hope in the home crowd, but Ocheje was alive to thwart all efforts from the blue shirts, including a rising shot by Adebayo in time added-on.
Abdullahi Biffo (Coach, Abia Warriors): "We actually came to Ibadan looking for the three points; we wanted a win. My boys gave their best, but you could see they always had about two, three players on our main striker and he was unlucky not to have scored. I am confident we will continue to improve."
Fatai Amoo (Coach, Shooting Stars): "My boys gave their best. I am not saying we did well with the draw but they put in a lot of effort and were unlucky not to have won. I can assure you that my young players will get better and we will start to get the kind of results we want before the end of the first stanza of the season."
Man Of The Match: Sunday Adetunji (Abia Warriors)
Shooting Stars 0-0 Abia Warriors
Free Kicks: 16-11
Corner Kicks: 6-3
Yellow Card: 1-2 (Sunday Adetunji, Abia Warriors; Kolawole Olaniran, Taiwo Shittu, Shooting Stars)
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